A. J. Ayer

Ayer, Sir Alfred Jules

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer (ā´ər, âr), 1910–89, British philosopher, b. London, grad. Oxford, 1932. From 1933 to 1944 he was lecturer and research fellow at Oxford's Christ Church College and then was fellow (1944–45) and dean (1945–46) of Wadham College. From 1946 to 1959 Ayer was Grote professor of the philosophy of mind and logic at the Univ. of London, and in 1959 he became Wykeham professor of logic at Oxford. His extremely influential Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) brought logical positivism to the attention of British and American philosophers. Among his other works are The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge (1940), Philosophical Essays (1954), The Problem of Knowledge (1956), and The Concept of a Person (1963). He was knighted in 1970.

See biography by B. Rogers (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Philosophy of A. J. Ayer
Lewis Edwin Hahn.
Open Court, 1992
The Problem of Knowledge
A. J. Ayer.
MacMillan, 1956
Logical Positivism
A. J. Ayer.
Free Press, 1959
Philosophical Essays
A. J. Ayer.
MacMillan, 1954
Thinking and Meaning: Inaugural Lecture
A. J. Ayer.
H.K. Lewis, 1947
Studies in Communication: Contributed to the Communication Research Centre, University College, London
A. J. Ayer; J. Z. Young; J. B. S. Haldane; R. Wittkower; Colin Cherry; T. B. L. Webster; Geoffrey Vickers; Randolph Quirk; D. B. Fry; B. Ifor Evans; University College, London.
Secker & Warburg, 1955
Librarian’s tip: "What is Communication?" by A. J. Ayer begins on p. 11
The Revolution in Philosophy
A. J. Ayer; W. C. Kneale; G. A. Paul; D. F. Pears; P. F. Strawson; G. J. Warnock; R. A. Wollheim.
St. Martin's Press, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "The Vienna Circle" by A. J. Ayer begins on p. 70
The Moral Judgment: Readings in Contemporary Meta-Ethics
Paul W. Taylor.
Prentice Hall, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Ethical Terms as Emotive Expressions" by A. J. Ayer begins on p. 120
Morality and the Good Life
Thomas L. Carson; Paul K. Moser.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "A. J. Ayer, Critique of Ethics," Chap. 4 "W. D. Ross, Critique of Ayer," and Chap. 5 "A. J. Ayer, Reply to Critics"
Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: An Anthology
William Barrett; Henry D. Aiken.
Random House, vol.3, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "A. J. Ayer" begins on p. 52
Philosophy and Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy
John Shand.
UCL Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Ten "Logical Positivism and Falsificationism: Ayer, Popper"
Religion and Radical Empiricism
Nancy Frankenberry.
State University of New York Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "A.J. Ayer and Logical Positivism" begins on p. 51
The Structure of Metaphysics
Morris Lazerowitz; John Wisdom.
Routledge and Paul, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of A. J. Ayer begins on p. 108
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
Ted Honderich.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: "Ayer, Alfred Jules (1910-89)" begins on p. 72
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